Step outside of The City – great things to do within easy reach of the Square Mile

All of these incredible attractions are within walking distance of The City, making them too close to resist.

The City is a fantastic place to be based, whether you’re in London for work or pleasure, with plenty going on in the area. Another benefit of staying at one of the serviced apartments in The City is your close proximity to a wealth of fascinating sites. Just outside the boundaries of The City is the Tower of London and across the river is the likes of Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Come on a journey with us to discover what lies just outside of the Square Mile, but still within easy reach. Imagine you are being accommodated at the new SACO Cannon Street apartments. The journey times are measured from there.

Borough Market
The London Bridge area, just 15 minutes away across the Thames, is a great place to visit, with plenty to keep you entertained. Do not leave without making your way to Borough Market, however, as this huge collection of food vendors offers incredible variety. You can find everything from the ingredients to whip up a delicious meal in your apartment kitchen right through to ready-to-eat snacks and dishes.

Grab a delicious pastry from Artisan Foods to couple with a brew from Change Please Coffee. This fantastic initiative is a joint project between the Big Issue and Old Spike Roastery, with each cup sold out of the little three-wheeled van making a difference. The perfect accompaniment to an Artisan Food Berliner filled with vanilla custard.

Alternatively, pop by Bread Ahead, Borough Cheese Co and Cannon & Cannon Charcuterie for a real savoury note. Wash it all down with a specialist blend from north-east India at Tea2You. If that sounds a little too organised, simply wander and see where your senses take you.

Tower of London
A 25-minute walk on a lovely sunny day will get you to the Tower of London, one of the city’s premier tourist attractions. Steeped in 1,000 years of history, you can find out all about the past uses of the building, the famous characters and stories all associated with the tower.

Of course, the Crown Jewels are the highlight of a visit for many, with some of the most extraordinary diamonds and precious stones on display. This opulent collection still gets used on special occasions by the Queen, but when they are not found about her person, they sit in the cabinets at the Tower of London for everyone to see.

Ravens are known as the guardians of the tower and have been protected since the reign of Charles II. Legend has it that if they should leave, the fortress will fall, so there is always the prerequisite six in situ and at present, there is a seventh just in case. See if you can spot any of them during your visit.

Somerset House
With views of the river, the 25-minute walk along the Embankment to Somerset House can be particularly pleasant. And you’ll be suitably blown away, as this huge Neoclassical building is absolutely stunning before you have even stepped inside.

Somerset House has been converted into a major arts and cultural institution with a jam-packed schedule of events. Whatever time of the year you visit London, there’s always something going on at the venue and the chances are it’ll be fun, ground-breaking and worth getting involved in.

Among the highlights of the events calendar at Somerset House is the Summer Screen, which allows for communal film watching within the grounds during the warmer months. Bring a picnic and enjoy some classic movies with the assembled crowd.

Somerset House

Shakespeare’s Globe
Take a wander across the Millennium Bridge and within ten minutes you’ll find yourself at Shakespeare’s Globe. This incredible theatre has been faithfully reconstructed to allow visitors to enjoy the bard’s plays in the manner his audience would recognise in the Elizabethan period.

A constantly changing programme of events at the Globe means you’ll not struggle to find something to suit your tastes. There’s tours to take, workshops to enjoy and exhibitions to peruse, all designed to delight Shakespeare lovers and open up his works to those who are a little more reticent.

However, the Globe is not just a museum, but a living, working theatre and nothing compares to watching a play here. Check out the schedule in advance and get yourself tickets for a Shakespeare play or one of the few performances put on by other playwrights. The midnight matinees are particular fun if you are something of a night owl.

Tate Modern
Not far from the Globe is Tate Modern, where you can see an incredible array of art spanning the period from 1900 to the modern day. Established within the imposing structure of the former Bankside Power Station, the building itself is worth marvelling at.

Among the exhibition spaces, the Turbine Hall is definitely the most impressive. This huge space once housed the electricity generators and is the equivalent of five storeys tall. This allows it to display works of colossal stature, with many specially-commissioned pieces having been housed here over the years.

You can come to Tate Modern every time you visit London and see something different, as the temporary exhibitions change on a regular basis. Even the permanent collection, which features the likes of Picasso, Lichtenstein and Delaunay, is so large you’ll want to come back to take it all in.

London Eye
To get a totally different perspective on the capital, head to the London Eye, just over half an hour’s walk from Cannon Street. This giant cantilevered observation wheel, located on the South Bank, takes you 135 metres up in the air inside one of its 32 pods, each representing a London borough.

You’ll be able to see a fair few of the boroughs during your 30-minute ride, with brilliant views of some of London’s finest landmarks, including the Thames. When it opened, the London Eye represented the tallest view in London, but this claim has since gone to the observation deck at The Shard.

If you’re celebrating a special occasion you can opt for a deluxe package while riding the London Eye, which includes glasses of champagne. It’s even possible to get married on the Eye and in 2005, it was lit up pink after the first civil partnership was performed onboard.

the London eye

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